The Big Apple is a place to celebrate diversity of people, diversity of cultures and diversity of experiences. Keeping that in mind, New York City offers a panoply of evening experiences so you can choose the type of New Year’s Eve to call your own: staying at home in your apartment or hotel room, attending an elaborate party, enjoying a luxe dinner, or finding a venue that puts you in the center of NYC’s proprietary grand fête, the Ball Drop in Times Square. If you’ve found yourself without a place to go, it’s not too late to book these wonderful options that will get you out and about as you start the new decade. Remember, New Year’s Eve lore says that where you are and who you meet first on New Year’s Eve set the stage for the year ahead. So, if you’ve already gotten rid of those bad memories at Good Riddance Day in Times Square and you’re prepared to put your New Year’s resolutions into play, kick off the future with a special night to say goodbye to the past and move forward with wonderful memories.
New York City is Never Lacking When it Comes to Parties
Lively Plado Tasting Bar in the East Village is perfect for a friends-and-family gathering with its shared plates menu. The new Mediterranean-focused tapas restaurant invites you to a Festo de Tapas, brought to you by charming Chef German Rizzo. Come hungry as you’ll enjoy a set menu of 10 selections including wagyu carpaccio with truffles and pecorino, taro gnocchi and lobster ravioli. The two three-hour seatings also include unlimited beer, wine and sangria. If you’re there when the clock strikes twelve, there’s a midnight toast and party favors.
If a Midtown location is easier for a meet-up with your friends, Zuma has a New Year’s Eve soirée that will keep everyone dancing . Set in the restaurant’s swanky second-floor lounge, adorned for NYE with a flashy red carpet and balloon-covered ceiling, the party kicks off with a welcome glass of Champagne and geisha dancers to get you moving. Then the creativity is up to you as you pose for pictures in the NYE-themed photobooth and dance the night away to Zuma’s resident DJ. Handcrafted seasonal cocktails, a midnight Champagne toast and viewing of the ball drop are part of the festivities. You can choose to have dinner, too, with omakase menu choices in the main dining room before the party. Contemporary Japanese dishes like lobster tempura with spicy ponzu and wasabi; thinly sliced sea bass sashimi with yuzu, truffle and salmon roe; and wagyu tataki with ponzu and fresh white truffles are special choices for the evening.
For New Year’s Eve, Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse Cote has a prix fixe dinner starting with caviar-adorned “steak and eggs,” followed by seven different cuts of steak, noodles with A5 Japanese wagyu and other festive dishes prepared by Chef David Shim. The meal includes a Champagne toast as well as a giant Champagne tower pour at midnight. The party continues downstairs at Cote’s cocktail lounge Undercote. There, it’s a throwback to the 80s with a Miami’s Vice-themed event. The evening includes a premium open bar with themed cocktails by Sondre Kasin, an array of special snacks, a Champagne toast at midnight and a DJ set. Dress your Miami Vice best with pastels, structured shoulders, sequins, cutout dresses, white suits and belted waistlines and get ready to dance to DJ music.
Vegans aren’t left out on New Year’s Eve at NIGHT MUSIC in the East Village with all-vegan Indian-inspired cuisine by Ravi DeRossi. From 6pm-10pm guests can enjoy a four-course dinner with a Champagne toast. After that, the restaurant transforms into a cocktail party with an open bar.
For a luxe celebration where caviar is synonymous with New Year’s Eve rather than with party hats and noisemakers, you’ll want to reserve a seat at HUSO, the caviar bar hidden behind a velvet curtain at Marky’s Caviar retail store on Madison Avenue. New Year’s Eve diners will be treated to caviar service of Beluga di Venezia, Russian Royal Osetra and private stock Sevruga; canapés; a demi bottle of Champagne; and an eight-course caviar-filled tasting menu from Eleven Madison Park alumnus Chef Buddha Lo.
I Want to Be Somewhere Where I Can See the Ball Drop, or Maybe the Fireworks
If the thought of joining the millions of people who fill the outdoor corrals around Times Square makes you recoil in horror, there are ways to see the ball drop in comfort, albeit for a price.
W New York-Times Square has a NYE-dedicated space to keep you warm and comfy. In the hotel’s neon-lit Living Room Bar you can cuddle up in a private indoor cabana with bottle service, an open bar, midnight Champagne toast, live screening of the ball drop and live DJ music. The festivities start at 6pm continuing well into the new decade. You can still step outside to watch the ball drop in the cold air, or just stay inside and enjoy the privileged setting. The price is $2,250 to reserve a cabana for up to six guests. General admission tickets are available for less and include the four-hour open bar, party favors and a Champagne toast at midnight. Stay inside – you’ll be able to pick up leftover confetti on the streets when you leave.
For superlative views of the ball drop this New Year’s Eve, check out the extravagant celebration at 701West, Michelin-starred Chef John Fraser’s fine dining jewel at The Times Square EDITION Hotel. The restaurant on the hotel’s eleventh floor is hosting a glamorous, black-tie bash unlike any other in town. Most of the details are a mystery so prepare for anything! Welcome cocktails and canapés in the Salon cocktail lounge set the tone before a six-course dinner, with selections such as eel with upland cress and foie pressé with kumquat mostarda and brioche. A wine pairing by Advanced Sommelier Amy Racine accompanies each course. There’s also a five-hour open bar with a curated wine and cocktail list. But, here’s the best part: you’ll get an exclusive view of the Ball Drop from the heart of the action – the location and specific details will only be revealed to guests that evening. And, of course, there’s a Champagne toast. Throughout the evening, you can look upon Duffy Square, the northern part of Times Square, from your lofty perch on the outdoor terrace. Your ticket also includes entry to the hotel’s Paradise Club dance party starting at 8pm. Tickets are $1200 per guest.
For something more casual but still with views of the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, check out the celebrations at these two Times Square restaurants and one within sight of the city’s fireworks.
Ring in 2020 in the heart of Times Square with a special fiesta at Dos Caminos Times Square with an open bar, live DJ, party favors and a Mexican dinner menu. The margarita-filled party goes from 7pm to 1am with delicious desserts to add a sweet touch before New Year’s including mini churro ice cream sandwiches, Mexican hot chocolate shooters, mini tres leches cake and mini coconut key lime pie. Yum!
Seafood lovers should head to Blue Fin in Times Square where the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve bash includes an open bar, a menu of Blue Fin favorites, raw bar and sushi, live entertainment and party favors. Arrive starting at 7pm and stay until 2am. To celebrate 2020 in style, VIP tickets are also available which include bottle service, private servers and more.
If you’d rather be in Brooklyn, Estuary in Brooklyn Bridge Park brings you a fireworks-filled celebration with live music. Michelin-starred chef Danny Brown will offer the likes of chestnut ravioli, foie gras terrine, duck breast à l’orange and tournedos Rossini as part of the dreamy New Year’s Eve menu. As midnight approaches, resident pastry chef Christophe Toury will serve his version of a ball drop, a chocolate dome accompanied by a Grand Finale surprise. From the waterfront eatery, you’ll have a view of the New York Harbor fireworks while you listen to live music.
The 2020 Year Celebration Means a Look Back to the Parties of the Roaring 20s
Get your flapper dresses and newsboy hats ready for the last night of 2019 at Brooklyn Cider House where the Taproom transforms into a 1920s speakeasy. While it coincides with the 100th anniversary of Prohibition (which started in January of 1920), this Roaring 20s celebration will NOT be dry. From 10pm to 2am, guests will enjoy an open bar with the Cider House’s signature ciders, beers on tap, well drinks and specialty cocktails. There will also be open barrels for unlimited cider catching, three DJs, screening of the ball drop, and a Champagne tower toast. You can nibble your way through the evening with party bites or book a dinner-and-party combination.
Midtown West’s Gatsby-Golden Era restaurant Valerie will go all out with their Prohibition-themed Roaring Twenties Centennial party with dining, four hours of bottomless cocktails and a midnight Champagne toast. Entertainment by magician Devonte Rosero and a live six-piece jazz band will keep you in the mood from 9:30pm-1:30am and set the stage for posing in front of a vintage car with a cocktail from the restaurant’s signature Gin & Tonic cart. All guests will leave the party with a bag of favors to ring in the 2020 new year!
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